Instruction Model - Cause and Effect


This model, originated by Hilda Taba, guides the students as they investigate the cause/effect relationship of a situation.

When to Use Cause and Effect

This instructional model is useful in areas where learners may confuse sequence or association with cause and effect. For example, if Jill is mean to Hillary, one might assume that Jill is the cause of the problem. Then, upon learning that Hillary told Jill's boyfriend a lie in order to break them up, one might assume that Hillary is cause of the problem.

Steps in the Cause and Effect Model1

  1. Choose the data, topic, action, or problem to be analyzed.
  2. Ask for causes and support those causes.
  3. Ask for effects and support.
  4. Ask for prior causes and support.
  5. Ask for subsequent effects and support.
  6. Ask for generalizations.
  7. Evaluate student performance.

Lesson Evaluation Checklist

  1. Are the causes well defined?
  2. Do the effects clearly follow from the causes?
  3. Do the conclusions follow from the cause and effect?

Student Evaluation Checklist2

  1. Is your conclusion clearly stated?
  2. Are causes clearly stated, logically organized, and supported by details?
  3. Are conflicting interpretations disproved or acknowledged?
  4. Are effects supported by observation and evidence? Do you avoid sweeping generalizations and unsupported conclusions?
  5. Do you anticipate future changes that might alter predictions?
  6. Do you avoid making errors in critical thinking, especially hasty generalization and confusing a time relationship for cause and effect?
  7. Have you tested your ideas through peer review?


1 Adapted from pg Pgs 157-174, Gunter, Estes, Schwab, Instruction, a Models Approach, 4th Edition, 2003, Allyn and Bacon
2 Mark Connelly, Cause and Effect

Other Resources

Gunter, Estes, Schwab, Instruction, a Models Approach, 4th Edition, 2003, Allyn and Bacon

Mark Connelly, Cause and Effect, Infotrac College Edition, Thompson, as quoted from The Sundance Reader, Third Edition, Web Site,, last accessed 14 June 2007


David E. McAdams. Instruction Model - Cause and Effect. 9 August 2007. Life is a Story URL: